Wisconsin offers a wide variety of hunting opportunities for deer, bear, wild turkey, and other small game. Wisconsin hunting seasons are determined by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and typically run from late September through early January. Some seasons may start later or end earlier, depending on the species being hunted.
Wisconsin Deer Seasons
Deer hunting is the most popular type of hunting in Wisconsin, and the state offers several seasons for different types of deer. The early archery season opens in September and runs through the end of October. The regular firearms season starts in November and runs through December.
There is also a late muzzleloader season that runs from January through the end of the month. Wisconsin also offers a special antlerless season for deer in some parts of the state.
One deer can be harvested per permit, and permits are necessary. Deer harvested in disease control zones are called “bonus bucks” and can be tagged for free because of Chronic Wasting Disease. Disabled hunter deer seasons aren’t offered statewide, but only on privately owned land where landowners sponsor them.
Wisconsin Bear Seasons
Bear hunting is another popular activity in Wisconsin. There are four designated bear hunting areas, each with its own set of rules. The black bear season typically runs from late August through early October. There is also a muzzleloader season in December and a late archery season in January.
Wisconsin Turkey Seasons
Wild turkey hunting is another popular activity in the state. The spring season runs from late April through the end of May, while the fall season runs from early October through the end of November.
Wisconsin Small Game Seasons
There are also several seasons for small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and grouse. For a complete list of Wisconsin’s hunting seasons, visit the DNR website.
Wisconsin Hunting Rules and Regulations
The landowner or someone acting in the landowner’s place is required to give permission before a game can be captured, hunted, destroyed, killed, injured, or killed without permission.
The only exception to this rule is if the landowner or a guest of the landowner is accompanying you on your hunting excursion.
Open Carry While Hunting In Wisconsin
While hunting in Wisconsin, if you have the right to do so, you are permitted to openly carry.
Unless you have a state permit to carry concealed firearms while bow hunting, firearms are prohibited.
People in Wisconsin are prohibited from obstructing hunting or other licensed activities like fishing or trapping in such a way as to make the taking of animals more difficult under the state’s Hunter Harassment Act.
The following are examples of other violations:
- Involvement in any activity that could be interpreted as threatening or harassing wildlife.
- Disturbing an individual’s ability to engage in a lawful hunting activity or related practice, such as fishing or trapping.
- Hunting or similar activities like trapping can be disrupted by trespassers.
- Attempting to tamper with bait or other traps designed to lure and capture wildlife or fish.
- Using a drone to break any part of this law.
- Engaging in multiple activities at the same time in a way that interferes with or disturbs legal hunting of wildlife in the state.
- Hunting can be disrupted if one stands too close to those engaged in it.
- Harasses or confronts a hunter who is acting within the scope of his or her rights.
- Unauthorized photography or videography is being used to keep tabs on people who have been granted permission to go hunting.
Body Protection Falling
Falling from a tree is one of the most common hunting injuries in Wisconsin. Because of this, the state legislature has mandated that all hunters wear body harnesses while out in the field.
Every tree stand hunter in the state is required to wear full body armor. As an added precaution, the state mandates that these instrument-picking hunters use a pull-up rope from the ground to the tree’s crown.
In addition, they are not allowed to ascend or descend the tree with any kind of hunting equipment, such as a bow or gun. The gun must also be unloaded when it is retrieved from the treetop.
In the absence of permission from the landowner, the regulation suggests using detachable tree stands and forbids the use of permanent or erected ones.
The state of Wisconsin limits the number of hours that can be spent hunting. Hunters are restricted to daylight hours, which are defined as 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
At least 500 yards from public areas such as motorways, public roads, and so on, it is unlawful to hunt or discharge a hunting firearm. Shotguns with more than four shots, a muzzle rifle, or a.40 calibers or greater firearm are among the prohibited hunting firearms.
Deer hunting in Wisconsin is primarily affected by the state’s new distance limitation hunting regulation. Deer hunting and other forms of gambling that take place within 50 yards of a property line are prohibited across the state.
This statute was passed by the Wisconsin legislature to address safety concerns in the state.
Wisconsin Bow Hunting
The sport of bowhunting has grown steadily in Wisconsin. The Archery Trade Association, Wisconsin Wildlife, Freshwater Fisheries Division, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Services have all worked together to improve archery parks in the state.
There are a number of archery parks in Wisconsin where hunters can practice their shooting before the archery season begins.
Anyone under the age of 64 and holding a valid Wisconsin hunting license is required to use an archery park.
Wisconsin Hunting Seasons: Wildlife
In Wisconsin, white-tailed deer are the most frequent animal available for shooting. Wisconsin’s economy is heavily influenced by deer shooting.
Second only to deer hunting in Wisconsin is turkey hunting in Wisconsin. Its deer hunters are among the most passionate in the country, and the state’s turkey hunters enjoy a season that lasts for over a month each year.
During the duck hunting season, many people in Wisconsin go duck hunting. The Mobile Tensaw Delta and the Tennessee River are home to a great number of ducks and waterfowl. The Wood duck is another often hunted fowl in the state.
Over the past decade, Wisconsin quail hunting has seen a dramatic shift. Because of the state’s farming culture and habitat conditions, the number of quail in the state has decreased significantly. Quail hunting is now restricted to commercial quail hunting preserves in Wisconsin.
Fall is the only time of year in Wisconsin that doves can be legally hunted. Most hunters use this time to come together with their hunting friends and families for a social and recreational event. Each zone in Wisconsin has its own rules for pursuing doves.
As long as you have a Wisconsin hunting license, you can hunt coyotes all year round in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, hunters use small game hunting as a social tool and a way to introduce hunting to young children.
Only in the southwest and northeastern parts of Wisconsin can you see black bear hunting. There is no open season for bear hunting and locals are urged to contact the Department of Natural Resources whenever they spot a bear.